(out of 5)
It’s really hard to imagine how this film could possibly be worse, unless perhaps if it was longer. Riding on the success of Animal House, the National Lampoon returns to the big screen combining three shorts that each spoof movie traditions of the 70s. The first is a take-off on Kramer Vs. Kramer, where Peter Riegert forces his wife (Candy Clark) out of their home and tells her to go “find herself” so that he can grow too. The second pokes lightly at The Last Tycoon (complete with Titos Vandis as an Onassis-style millionaire) and features a stripper getting revenge on the dairy-industry executives who violated her with sticks of butter (a la Last Tango In Paris), taking over their industry (within four days) and converting their operation to margarine. The third spoof is quite possibly the worst, though this may also be because by this point you’re just too bored to even try to have a good time. In a spoof of cop movies (particularly The New Centurions), Richard Widmark and Robby Benson play, respectively, a burned-out angry cop and his heavily optimistic partner who go on the lookout for a murderer (Christopher Lloyd) who leaves photocopies of his drivers license on dead bodies and yet cannot seem to be tracked down. The slow direction and pitiful writing are so embarrassingly bad that it is absolutely no wonder that this film has been completely forgotten since its release. Also look for small roles performed by Diane Lane, Olympia Dukakis, and a then-unknown Rhea Perlman.
Produced by Matty Simmons
Music by Andy Stein
Production Design by Alexander A. Mayer
Costume Design by Nedra Rosemond-Watt